THE RYDGES POST
Rydges South Bank falls within the electorate of Griffith which is held by our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. A few weeks ago it seemed superfluous to post about the seat and the contenders because it was a safe ALP seat needing more than an 8% swing against Rudd for it to leave Labor. Well, they say that a week is a long time in politics and according to the latest poll, Rudd will lose the seat to Liberal-National Bill Glasson. The poll on August 5 had Labor at 54.5% after preferences. Today’s poll has Labor at 48% to the LNP’s 52%.
This may be an aberration – it may also be because the PM is so busy darting around the rest of Australia that he has neglected the home turf – or it could be in how preferences will fall this time.
There are 11 candidates in Griffith this year – apart from the two major parties there are the Rise Up Australia Party, Stable Population Party, Katter’s Australian Party, Socialist Alliance, Secular Party of Australia, The Greens, Palmer United Australia, Family First and an independent. It is worth noting that in 2010 the Greens pulled 15% of the vote (12,378) and most of those preferences would have helped Rudd get over the line. It will be interesting to see if The Greens are as potent now without having Bob Brown as leader.
Finally, there is the quality of the LNP candidate. While it must be nice to have a Prime Minister as the local member – perhaps locals are seeing that coming to an end on September 7, which could in turn lead to a by-election… so they are looking seriously at the alternative and liking what they see – Dr Bill Glasson has lived in the electorate all his life – he is a respected ophthalmologist and former state and federal President of the Australian Medical Association – he was Lieutenant-Colonel in the Australian Army Reserve – his father was an MP and Minister in the Bjelke Petersen government… and he can be on the ground, focussed and talking with his constituents for the next two weeks while is opponent flits around the country.
Will be a very interesting seat to watch!